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Top Nicaragua

Flora and Fauna

One of Nicaragua's biggest attractions is its wide variety of wildlife species. Its huge ecosystem is home to over 700 bird species, 176 species of mammals, more than 1,000 species of fish, 172 species of reptiles and countless insects. Lake Nicaragua and the San Juan River contain the world's only freshwater sharks. Other notable creatures found in Nicaragua include the three-toed sloth, Tamandua anteater, armadillo, jaguar, iguana, chocoyos green parrot and Guardabarranco, Nicaragua's national bird. While those numbers alone are impressive, many species of flora and fauna remain undiscovered, hidden in the mountains, volcanoes, lakes, forests, ocean and sea of this small country.


Nicaragua's most famous creature is the sea turtle. Sadly, the sea turtles are dying off due to illegal poaching for the turtles' meat and eggs. Nicaragua is home to five species of endangered sea turtles.


Nicaragua has 5.5 million hectares of forest that is divided into Caribbean rainforest, Pacific dry forest, upland pine forest and mountainous broad leaf forest. Along with the large number of trees, there are also more than 9,000 species of vascular plants in Nicaragua's forests. Many of these plants are used for medicinal purposes.


Along with its poaching problems leading to endangered species, Nicaragua has a major problem with deforestation. Many of its valuable hardwood trees are being cut down for commercial purposes.


Now that the country's problems with endangered species and deforestation have gained worldwide attention, many groups are working to protect Nicaragua's flora and fauna. Nicaragua now has more than 70 reserves, ranging from national parks t o nature reserves, wildlife refuges and more. All of these different types of reserves work to protect and preserve the plant and animal species of Nicaragua.


Here are some related tips to help plan your trip to Nicaragua : Wildlife in Nicaragua,

By Amanda Loviza
I am currently studying at la Universidad San Francisco de Quito and interning with V!VA while I am living in Quito. I am from Midlothian, VA, USA,...
02 Sep 2009

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